Do you buy 'useless' land?

I recently saw a lot listed for auction. I checked the zoning with the county and it is zoned for residential, however the plat says that this particular lot “will be held in public or common ownership for perpetual open space”. If it is being auctioned then obviously it will not be “public or common ownership”. Just wondering if anyone has dealt with a lot like this and if it’s worth pursuing.

I’ve seen several, seemingly useless, lots in the past and noticed that the buyers have consistently flipped them for profit, though this is the first with this type of circumstance. Many times they are small strips between other properties. This particular one has homes surrounding most of it, with an open end for access.

@suitedconnector it’s probably one of those “never say never” kind of things, where 99.9% of the time, it wouldn’t make much financial sense to buy something that can’t be used by you or any future owner (and therefore, it has virtually no value). But there may be a random case where it makes sense to the right person. Whether their reasoning is based on logic or emotion, it doesn’t really matter as long as they’re satisfied with their purchase.

@SuitedConnector This may not fit your circumstance, but I ran into this a few times while reviewing properties being auctioned at county tax sales. Often times an HOA or community would have a common ground at the time their subdivision/development was laid out. Usually it would be a space that was just too small for the type of houses in the development, the terrain didn’t make sense for the developer to grade and/or build on, or perhaps it is a retention area for storm water. Since the HOA owned it, they were responsible for paying the taxes. Depending on the laws in that county, after so many years of unpaid taxes the property went to tax auctions.

I think this happens often because the residents in the HOA don’t care whether the county or the HOA owns the land, since it isn’t land they are using anyway and the HOA would have costs associated with maintaining it. Purchasing a lot like this may be risky because there may be an underlying reason it wasn’t built on in the first place, and the HOA covenants may still have restrictions on the land use.

However… it may be a diamond in the rough!


@tylerd Yea, in regards to HOA that reminds me of an OTC property that I saw last year. It was a road which the HOA was forclosed on for not paying the taxes. The road was the only way to get to the 11 properties (inside of the gate) which looked to be very upscale. I didn’t move on it because I was sure that there’d be something that would go wrong, but it seemed at the time that one of the homeowners might buy from whoever buys it from the county. They definitely need that road access.